Deep in Alaska's interior sits Fairbanks, a city that balances industrialism with idyllic natural beauty and rich history. Situated at a confluence of rivers, on-water activities are popular in this landlocked city. In addition to Fairbanks natural attributes it is also home to museums and parks that highlight the area's cultural and industrial past, chronicling everything from the gold rush to the lives of Alaskan Natives.
Of the many available tours, one of the most talked-about is a cruise on Riverboat Discovery that takes passengers on a tour of the area's river system. Visit the excellent University of Alaska Museum of the North to see research collections - 1.4 million artifacts and specimens - representing millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions in the North. And for Alaska's only historic theme park stop by Pioneer Park. The Georgeson Botanical Garden is also a must-see park as it was designed to allow the public to learn about plant culture in the far north.
For more outdoor discoveries of the great north head to the Large Animal Research Station where you can safely observe on a guided tour and learn about muskoxen, caribou and reindeer as well as learn about the biology of life in the north. Experience the Alaska Gold Rush on a 2-hour train tour into the gold fields of the Interior and then try your hand at panning for gold. And be sure to visit Gold Dredge #8 which extracted millions of ounces of gold from the frozen Alaskan ground and now serves as a monument to the miners who built Fairbanks.